Gabriella Elgenius (University of Gothenburg) ‘Diaspora Division and Civil Society Trajectories: Mechanisms of Social Solidarity and Exclusion in the Polish Diaspora pre- and post-Brexit’
G4/5 10 Woodland Road
Centre for Ethnicity and Citizenship Seminar Series
Gabriella Elgenius (University of Gothemburg)
‘Diaspora Division and Civil Society Trajectories: Mechanisms of Social Solidarity and Exclusion in the Polish Diaspora pre- and post-Brexit’
This project investigates the seemingly contradictory processes of social solidarity and division within diaspora civil societies, taking the Polish civil society process in the UK as a case in point. The aim is to contribute towards explanations as to how and why diaspora civil societies develop the way they do, through what mechanisms and under what conditions. The Polish civil society process has developed with both the discourse social solidarity and through internal division of different generations of migrangs from Poland. Significantly, internal division has produced a unique civil society trajectory (since WW2) through which mechanisms of internal exclusion may be explored as dividing (rather than uniting) homing desires, the competition for status and opportunities for social resources, in the face of devaluation. The Polish civil society sphere is formed at the intersections of class, gender, nationality and migration status. The discourse of nationalism, as one of social solidarity, stands in sharp contrast to findings of internal exclusion, yet enables the development of civil society. This project opens up for contributions towards contested concepts such as diaspora, community and social solidarity; for the exploration of the integrative potential of the ethnic bonding of social capital; and to analyses of how Brexit has compounded internal cleavages and influenced the Polish civil society trajectory. With reference to the Polish civil society in the UK in the post-Brexit era, such analyses take the implications of contemporary Polish politics on the Polish diaspora into consideration.